Combining AI, Machine Learning and Professional Expertise to Help Deliver Better, Faster and Safer Patient Care
By Arielle Zomer
Our healthcare landscape is changing. Every day, hospitals in Canada and around the world face more and more challenges – a spike in the number of patients in distress against a backdrop of increasing work pressures and fewer resources.
It is also a known concern that patients who visit any hospital can be at risk of adverse outcomes, or adverse events. In fact, according to data from the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Canadian Institute for Health Information, 1 in 18 hospital stays involved at least one harmful event. According to research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), the costs of experiencing hospital harm amounted to more than $1 billion in Ontario in fiscal year 2015-16.
At Humber River Hospital, patient safety and high reliability healthcare are key priorities. We looked at these incidents across the healthcare system and how these issues could be addressed. We needed a solution that could make a big systemic difference in improving the patient experience – not only in our hospital, but in hospitals around the world. We asked our physicians and staff what would make the biggest difference in helping to support them in providing better and safer care to patients. And they gave us 350+ ideas. We turned those ideas into action.
Last month, Humber River Hospital launched the world’s first clinical analytic applications or ‘tiles’ inside of a hospital command centre bringing a new standard of patient-centred quality healthcare to Ontario, and the world.
These new clinical applications or analytic ‘tiles’ are displayed on large-screen monitors in the Hospital’s Command Centre, with key items alerted immediately to the staff or physician’s dashboard. The ‘tiles’ integrate standardized early warning systems, predictive analytics, real-time information from multiple digital systems, and professional expertise to provide an added layer of protection for patients with conditions that make them more vulnerable to risks of adverse events, or adverse outcomes. Through this process, clinical staff can be alerted to a changing patient’s condition even sooner, so that they can intervene to keep that patient on track and advancing towards becoming healthy.
“This evolution in our technology-rich Command Centre marks a significant step in our pursuit of high reliability healthcare. Humber River Hospital is the first in the world to build such analytics and deploy them alongside clearly defined procedures, with the hospital’s Command Centre as a back-stop. We want what’s best for our patients and this just enhances our ability to revolutionize that experience and deliver even higher quality care,” says Barbara Collins, President and CEO of HRH.
Humber River Hospital’s vision for high reliability healthcare is clearly manifested in our clinical analytic tiles. For instance, the Mother and Baby tile alerts our front-line staff and physicians in the Obstetrical Unit and the Clinical Expediter in the Command Centre when an expectant mother or newborn is at elevated obstetrical risk, which our hospital staff developed when we were designing these tiles. The goal of the Mother and Baby tile is to support patients in the Labour and Delivery Unit and in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and to reduce unpredicted rates of illness.
Similarly, the new Risk of Harm tile is designed to help reduce the likelihood of adverse events for patients who are at an elevated risk of harm, such as sepsis or an infection. The Delays in Care tile includes a number of items based on the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) best practice guidelines related to falls risk intervention, wound and skin management, pain management and delirium. A seniors’ care tile focused on mobility, dietary intake early ambulation and medications causing risk is of particular focus on preventing deterioration that often accompanies hospitalization for this vulnerable population.
“Staff immediately saw the benefits to patients and it empowered them to continuously improve and streamline our clinical and digital processes where it could add even greater value to patients,” added Collins.
Since the launch of its Command Centre, Generation One, HRH has unlocked inpatient capacity equivalent to 35 additional beds, eliminated hallway medicine and reduced Emergency Department wait times, despite experiencing eight per cent growth in ED volume during this same period.
Our new quality tiles, referred to as Generation Two, show how we can harness the power of clinical data and innovative technology to transform the delivery of healthcare, not only for Humber River’s patients, but for patients across Ontario and around the world. As a leader in the digital transformation of care delivery, we are making our methodology available to hospitals around the world because the only way for healthcare to continuously improve is to build on each other’s successes.
The launch of these four new analytic tiles in the HRH Command Centre marks a major milestone in the hospital’s multi-generational roll-out. The next phase will introduce additional Command Centre functionality, with analytics designed to further integrate the hospital with the community it serves, so that more patients can receive care at home.
Arielle Zomer is Manager of Public Affairs at Humber River Hospital.